Journal of Educational Controversy


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Thomas Friedman's "Theory of Everything"

In an interesting column on a "Theory of Everything" in today's New York Times, Thomas Friedman attempts to bring together all the disparate events occurring in our global social environment from globalization, middle class crisis, tea party, worker replacement, unemployment, education, IT, social media, growing income disparity, grassroots social protests occurring across the globe and calls for an "accessible future."

In his final summary paragraph, he writes:

We are increasingly taking easy credit, routine work and government jobs and entitlements away from the middle class — at a time when it takes more skill to get and hold a decent job, at a time when citizens have more access to media to organize, protest and challenge authority and at a time when this same merger of globalization and I.T. is creating huge wages for people with global skills (or for those who learn to game the system and get access to money, monopolies or government contracts by being close to those in power) — thus widening income gaps and fueling resentments even more.

As a writer of a blog on education, I couldn't help but reflect on how all these disparate movements should be informing our thinking about the the role of public education in a democratic society.  Current mainstream thinking in our media about accountability, standardized testing, anti-teacher unions rhetoric, privatization of schools, and firing of teachers, etc, doesn't come close to the issues we should be addressing. Any thoughts?

P.S. Watch for our upcoming issue of the journal on the theme: "The Education and Schools our Children Deserve."   It will go online this fall.

1 comment:

owen thomas said...

wow friedman saying true things. kind of.

reform is in the streets.
rattle those pots and pans